Training

Are you working on a research software project, and would like to develop and scale your work? Would you like to create a business plan, understand cybersecurity, and learn about alternative funding models?

The SGCI are running an intensive workshop for leaders of research software projects, science gateways and virtual research environments (VREs) in Edinburgh on the 11-12 June 2018, immediately before IWSG2018. Participants will engage in hands-on activities to help them articulate the value of their work to key stakeholders and to create a strong development, operations, and sustainability plan. Workshop participants will work closely with one another and, as a result, have the opportunity to network and establish relationships with people who are engaging in similar activities.

Participants will learn:

  • Core business strategy skills as they apply to leading an online digital presence, such as understanding stakeholder and user needs; business, operations, finance, and resource planning; and project management;

  • Technology best practices, including the principles of cybersecurity; software architecture, development practices, and tools that ensure implementation of strong software engineering methods; usability do’s and don’ts; and

  • Long-term sustainability strategies, such as alternative funding models; case studies of successful gateway efforts; licensing choices and their impact on sustainability; planning for and measuring your impact.

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4982558043_06968b80f1_z.jpgBy Mike Jackson, Software Architect

Early March saw us deliver our annual Software Carpentry workshop for the Regenerative Medicine Centre for Doctoral Training at The University of Manchester. I was joined by co-instructors Peter Smyth and David Mawdsley and helpers Nicolas Gruel and Nilani Ganeshwaran from The University of Manchester. Our course was run within the impressive redbrick edifice that is the Sackvile Street Building.

We gave the attendees an introduction to the bash shell, good programming practice using Python, and version control with Git. We started with 20 attendees and ended with 16, which is one of the lower rates of attrition I've seen.

There were the inevitable setup problems arising from attendees having Linux, Windows and Mac OS, and different flavours of Python. This meant that for some attendees, as one commented, "my Anaconda software and what was on the projector was different" and that the course was "sometimes hard to follow."

Of the concepts covered, loops seemed to be the most challenging, for both bash shell and Python, attendees questioning why they are used and in what circumstances. One attendee commented that "Some of the coding vocab is a bit lost on me!" which coincidentaly relates to a recent thread on the Software Carpentry…

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carpentrycon2018Registrations are now open for CarpentryCon 2018 in Dublin. The event will take place from 30th May to 1st June 2018. 

CarpentryCon 2018 is the key networking and community building event in the Software and Data Carpentries' (now The Carpentries') annual calendar. This three-day event will help develop the next generation of research leaders by providing practical skill-ups, networking, workshops and all kinds of discussions.

cardforfellows(hols2018).jpgEveryone at the Software Sustainability Institute wishes our friends and colleagues all the best for the holiday season.

In a nutshell, this year has seen the announcement of a wonderful new set of Fellows, a second edition of the RSE conference, even more events, Software and Data Carpentry workshops, and Open Call projects.

After a busy year, we need a little break to get ready for everything we plan to do in  2018, like our Collaborations Workshop 2018. So please excuse us while we switch off our email and social media from the 23rd December to the 3rd January.  

Enjoy the festivities!

Here you can find out about the latest and previous Carpentry workshops in the UK.

 
 

The Carpentries have announced that the first CarpentryCon will take place from 30 May-1 June 2018 at the University College Dublin, Ireland.

CarpentryCon aspires to become a major learning, skill-building and networking event for the global Carpentries community. CarpentryCon 2018 will focus on three main themes:

  • community building,
  • sharing knowledge and
  • networking.

More details about CarpentryCon 2018 can be found from the official Carpentries announcement.

GRADnetBy Mike Jackson, Software Architect

On 18th October I attended GRADnet's "Moving Forward for 2nd Year PGRs" day in London for physics post-graduates, and ran two sessions on "Writing better software to research".

SEPnet, the South East Physics Network, is a consortium of universities in the south east of England, promoting excellence in physics in both academia and industry, via research, collaboration, training, and outreach. GRADnet is SEPnet's collaborative graduate school which provides professional skills training to PhD students.

GRADnet's "Moving Forward for 2nd Year PGRs" day offered attendees a choice of 5 sessions both morning and afternoon, on Creating impact, How to write a successful Fellowship Application, Research data management, Unconscious Bias and Writing better software for research. 66 students attended the event, held at the Park Crescent Conference Centre, London.

My 2.5 hour session on Writing better software for research provided students with a hands-on code review to get them thinking about the qualities of good, and bad, code. I gave an introduction to a selection of best practices from Wilson et al.'s highly recommended 2014 paper Best Practices for…

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digital humanititesBy Giacomo Peru

On 26th and 27th September, Oxford held one of the first Data Carpentry workshops for Humanities*. The workshop is fruit of a collaboration between Reproducible Research Oxford and the Software Sustainability Institute. Iain Emsley has undertaken the endeavour of porting the Ecology lessons to a Humanities version, using Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership texts as the dataset. The choice has been to port Python but R will come next. The team of instructors was Iain (Python), Pip Willcox, from the Bodleian Libraries’ Centre for Digital Scholarship (Spreadsheets) and Lucia Michielin, from the University of Edinburgh (Open Refine and SQL).

According to the instructors, the dataset needs more cleaning (for example, multiple authors come in the same column!). The lessons need further revision but there is hope to submit them to Data Carpentry for consideration by the end of the year.

Contributions are therefore welcome!

Dataset

Spreadsheets

Open Refine

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***This is now sorted as a couple of assistant instructors have been found***

The Software Sustainability Institute, on behalf of Reproducible Research Oxford, is looking for a second instructor for a Software Carpentry workshop in Oxford on 12th & 13th October 2017.

Please get in touch with training@software.ac.uk if you'd like to help.

About the workshop

Software Carpentry's mission is to help scientists and engineers get more research done in less time and with less pain by teaching them basic lab skills for scientific computing. This workshop is run by the Department of Biochemistry (Michal Gdula) and the Reproducible Research Oxford project. It will cover introduction to the UNIX shell, GitHub as well as programming and data visualization in R. 

 

Instructor trainingBy Amy Beeston, University of Sheffield.

I attended the instructor training course in Manchester last week. During one of the coffee breaks, we were sharing stories of how we first met these teachings, and how as new learners we first tried to put our freshly-acquired Software Carpentry skills to use. Following that conversation, our instructor Aleksandra Nenadic invited me to write this blogpost to share my experiences.

I was introduced to the concept of Software Carpentry by Greg Wilson during the week-long Sound Software Autumn School in late 2010. Heavily pregnant, I sat on the back row during most of Greg’s classes — the row with the extra leg/body room — and listened to the very best of my ability to every single word he said.

As a group of learners, we came from varied disciplines but all shared the need to focus our programming skills on developing tools that accessed data in the audio domain. Many of us were self-taught programmers, and some of us had relatively little text-based coding experience as we were used to thinking and working in real-time signal processing…

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